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Scrooge looked up. He wasn’t even sure where he was anymore- he was everywhere and nowhere. Everything was grey and gloomy and through the mist ahead of him a phantom approached. Dressed in long black robes and walking with a slow, eerie purposefulness, the figure began to take shape. As he came closer, Scrooge realised it was Alan Rickman.
“Are you the ghost of…”
“Shut. Up.” Rickman had come right into Scrooge’s face. “You know exactly who I am so don’t play dumb with me, fool.” Scrooge felt the spittle on his face from the ‘f’ of “fool.”
“It is you I fear most of all,” he stuttered.
Rickman considered this for a moment. “Hmm. I thought you might be expecting the last ghost to be David Bowie. Anyway, we have only a little time, little man. And a lot for you to see.”
Around him, some sort of award ceremony took shape. In front of Scrooge, a huddle of prominent Remoaners was deep in conversation in the aisle near the front of a vast auditorium.
“I don’t know much about it,” JK Rowling was saying. “All I know is, he’s dead.”
“What do you think he’s done with all his money?” James O’Brien from LBC asked.
“I don’t think he’ll be giving it to me somehow,” Gary Lineker remarked, “do you know if there’s a funeral?”
“It’ll probably be in one of his awful pubs,” JK Rowling said.
“I might go,” Lineker stated, much to the astonishment of the other two, “if lunch is provided!”
The Remoaners all laughed raucously and Scrooge sensed the scene around him changing again.
Now he found himself in the Kratchowycz house and the mood was far more sombre than it had been on his last visit. Just as Wogan had predicted, an empty wheelchair sat in one corner, now with papers piled on top of it. Janek was stirring a pot of soup slowly, a grim expression on his face, as Bożena walked through the door, wandered over to her husband and put a hand gently on his shoulder.
“I’ve found the place where I think we should scatter the ashes,” she murmured quietly. “It’s that spot in Grovelands Park. Near where she used to sit and feed the ducks.”
Janek lowered the heat on the hob, turned and embraced his wife. “That’s a lovely idea. She always loved those ducks.”
The other children came slowly and mirthlessly down the stairs and joined their parents in the kitchen.
“How are you getting on, my dears?” Bożena asked.
“We’re sad,” said the eldest.
“And you have every right to be,” Bożena told them, getting down on one knee and scooping up her three remaining children in her arms. “Life is a story of meetings and partings. And I know how hard it is for all of us dealing with this first parting among us. But we will remember Little Lena and, when we remember how kind and clever she was, it will remind us all to quarrel a little less and help each other out a little more.”
“It will, Mama,” her son replied.
“Remarkable courage,” Scrooged remarked, before turning to Rickman and asked, “Tell me, Spirit, are these the foretellings of that which must happen, or that which may happen only?”
Rickman paused before replying.
“You really are an awful cunt, aren’t you,” he said.
The mist returned and Scrooge found himself once again everywhere and nowhere. He followed Rickman, bewildered, until they reached an iron gate. He paused to look round before entering.
A churchyard. Here, then, the wretched man on whom those Remoaner celebrities poured such scorn, lay underneath the ground. It was a worthy place. Walled in by houses; overrun by grass and weeds, the growth of vegetation’s death, not life; choked up with too much burying; fat with repleted appetite.
Rickman stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. “Look.”
“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”
Rickman merely sighed,
“Look,” he repeated.
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!”
“Be. Quiet. And. Look.”
Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, Brexiteezer Scrooge.
“No Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at its robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the hate-filled old git I’ve been before any longer. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!”
Rickman just rolled his eyes, his face a picture of cynicism and boredom.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart,” Scrooge continued, “And try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”
“Oh, do stop talking,” Rickman said, “You’re saved. Go on, fuck off.”
Check out timparamour.com tomorrow for the final part of the story: The End Of It.